Community College Watch: It’s Graduation Time

HEAG Community Colleges

It’s that time of year again. Students across the country are getting ready to end one chapter of their educations and start another. High school students are preparing to graduate and community college students are moving on to the next phase of their education or professional careers. Here are some recent stories related to how community colleges are helping students continue on their academic journey.

Growing number of students starting at community colleges

Chicago Tribune

Monday was National Decision Day, where high school seniors around the country cemented their college decisions and formerly decided on where they want to spend the next several years furthering their education.

For many, that means leaving home in a few months to embark on a four-year experience at a college or university. Others, like Hayley Borgia, a senior at Andrew High School, have decided against attending a four-year school and will instead be starting their college careers at a community college before they head off to a big university.

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What Community Colleges Are Doing to Counteract Declining Enrollments

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Despite all of the national focus on community colleges, enrollment in two-year institutions has been steadily declining, dropping 16 percent from 2010 to 2015, according to EAB, a research and technology group.

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Helping Community College Students Transfer


Northern Oklahoma College offers two successful programs that move students to local universities to get four-year degrees.

Northern Oklahoma College (NOC) has two successful programs that help students continue their education at Oklahoma State University (OSU) or Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU).

Each year, the Gateway Program at NOC’s Stillwater campus prepares about 2,000 students to transfer to OSU by helping them meet academic requirements in math, English or other areas.

A separate program, called Bridge Access to Success, allows students to apply for admission to NWOSU before they graduate from NOC and to earn a scholarship of up to $1,900 to help pay for their four-year degree.

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It’s a Tough Job Market for the Young Without College Degrees

New York Times

For seniors graduating from the University of Michigan this month, employers have been lining up since the fall to offer interviews and boast of their companies’ benefits. Recruiters would ask when their competitors were coming, said Geni Harclerode, the university’s assistant director of employer development, and then they’d say: “Well, we want to come the week before.”

“This has been one of our largest seasons of hiring,” she said. “The job market has been very good.”

The outlook for many high school graduates is more challenging, as Vynny Brown can attest. Now 20, he graduated two years ago from Waller High School in Texas, and has been working for nearly a year at Pappasito’s Cantina in Houston, part of a chain of Tex-Mex restaurants. He earns $7.25 an hour filling takeout orders or $2.13 an hour plus tips as a server, which rarely adds up to more than the minimum, he said. He would like to apply to be a manager, but those jobs require some college experience.

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